Pursuit of Precision in the Field Artillery
Monograph rept. Jul 2009-May 2010
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
Artillery has gone through two previous evolutions in employment methodology. The first, starting in 1670, saw it evolve from primarily a siege engine, to a precision mobile direct fire support platform. The second evolution in methodology began in 1865 and saw the precision mobile direct fire support platform evolve into a volume fire indirect fire support platform, which culminated in the Russo-Japanese War. The thesis of this paper is that through a historical examination of the evolution of the method of employment during those two periods, this monograph proves that the arrival of precision munitions heralds the onset of another evolutionary employment method for the field artillery. This method will emphasize precision fires over indirect volume fire. In order for this evolution to occur, the field artillery community must avoid the same type of evolutionary stagnation that occurred after the American Civil War. Each evolution saw improvements, of varying degrees, in four areas and Improvements in mobility, precision, target discrimination and communications all interacted to a varying degree to force change. These are used as the evaluation criteria for each period. The author determined that when moving from siege to direct fire, only improvements in mobility and precision were needed to spark an evolutionary change in employment. This was because target discrimination and communications were facilitated by the weapons proximity to the target. When the method of employment moved beyond the direct fire mode to volume indirect fire, it took improvements in communications and target discrimination to spark a new method of employment.
- Ammunition and Explosives
- Fire Control and Bombing Systems
- Guided Munitions